Dilip Kumar speaks rare tongues

Published: Dec 25, 2011, 07:58 IST | Subhash K Jha |

Reveals relative Adnan Sami, whose half-Afghani wife spoke to the thespian in Pashto

Reveals relative Adnan Sami, whose half-Afghani wife spoke to the thespian in Pashto

While Dilip Kumar's birthday this year received much coverage for its guest list, here's a new thing that we learnt about the yesteryear's superstar -- he speaks Hindko and Pashto. The two tongues, native to Pakistan, are almost as extinct as Sanskrit, Greek and Latin.

The triumvirate of Dev Anand, Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor ruled the
silver screen in the 1950s. Adnan Sami gifted this photograph to Dilip
Kumar on the latter's birthday on December 13

Adnan Sami, who is related to Dilip Kumar introduced his wife, Afghani-German Roya, to Kumar and Saira Banu. Kumar reportedly spoke to Roya in fluent Hindko and Pashto. Roya also cooked Kabuli Badam, a childhood favourite, for Kumar. Sami, on his part, gifted Kumar a rare picture of Kumar with superstars Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand caught in a candid moment.

For those elements in the film industry, who have been spreading the rumour that the thespian is rapidly losing his memory, here's a shocker -- Yusuf saab, as he's known among friends and family, has coherent memories of his childhood.

"Yusuf Lala, that's what my father called him, is related to me. His mother was my grandmother's cousin. He treats me like a son and greeted Roya as Bahu Begum. I converse with Yusuf Lala in Hindko. When he came to know Roya was originally from Kabul and that she spoke Pashto he broke into fluent Pashto and spent a good half an hour in earnest conversation with her," reveals Sami.

 During the course of their animated chatter (which, we believe, angered a certain Khan superstar, who was waiting to greet Kumar), Roya discovered how much Dilip Saab loved  Kabuli Badam.

 She sent him a dish the very next day."At 89, Yusuf Lala  is so coherent, articulate, humorous and alert," says Sami.

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